Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government The Internet Businesses United States Technology

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Plans Fast-Track Repeal of Net Neutrality (reuters.com) 132

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is moving quickly to replace the Obama administration's landmark net neutrality rules and wants internet service providers to voluntarily agree to maintain an open internet, three sources briefed on the meeting said Thursday. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, met on Tuesday with major telecommunications trade groups to discuss his preliminary plan to reverse the rules, the sources said. The rules approved by the FCC under Democratic President Barack Obama in early 2015 prohibited broadband providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet, essentially a "fast lane," to certain internet services over others. As part of that change, the FCC reclassified internet service providers much like utilities. Pai wants to overturn that reclassification, but wants internet providers to voluntarily agree to not obstruct or slow consumer access to web content, two officials said late Tuesday. The officials briefed on the meeting said Pai suggested companies commit in writing to open internet principles and including them in their terms of service, which would make them binding. It is unclear if regulators could legally compel internet providers to adopt open internet principles without existing net neutrality rules. As part of that move, the Federal Trade Commission would assume oversight of ensuring compliance.Three sources said Pai plans to unveil his proposal to overturn the rules as early as late April and it could face an initial vote in May or June.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Plans Fast-Track Repeal of Net Neutrality

Comments Filter:
  • "Voluntary" (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @09:03AM (#54190765)

    Yeah, that worked great in the past. From companies honoring the "do not track" flag to people disabling adblockers when asked. Hey, while we're at it, could we finally implement the "evil bit"? I mean, if you think ISPs will honor this, you can as well expect internet criminals to set the evil bit.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...and we'll all voluntarily agree not to stab FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in the neck.

      • But without any repercussions should someone not volunteer, of course.

        Laws exist because people have the potential to be assholes. Now imagine how much more people with intelligence but without conscience (i.e. corporations) do.

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @09:04AM (#54190767) Journal
    Thank goodness the news channels will all be busy today reporting the special delivery of some missiles to Syria.
  • Oh, my sides (Score:5, Insightful)

    by enjar ( 249223 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @09:23AM (#54190839) Homepage

    "voluntarily agree"

    I can already hear the evil villain laughs from the boardrooms of our monopolistic content masters, lighting cigars with $100 bills and slapping each other on the back with hearty gusto.

    If I could take my business elsewhere, this wouldn't matter so much. In the designated local monopoly for ISPs that most Americans exist within, it's just pathetic.

    • "voluntarily agree" "Yes," I thoughts to meself, "that should work. Why wouldn't it?"
    • I can already hear the evil villain laughs from the boardrooms of our monopolistic content masters, lighting cigars with $100 bills and slapping each other on the back with hearty gusto.

      I expect it's more "sigh of relief that all that lobbying finally paid off." Corporate boardrooms with golden parachutes and preferred shares behind closed doors often make really stupid decisions. I expect most of the extra money they'll be getting will be going to covering money they spent on lobbyists to get this passed. A lot is likely already being spent on lobbying for the next greedy cash grab. The rest will go to their pockets, obviously they'll still make out like bandits on this, just I doubt they

    • by hAckz0r ( 989977 )
      Apparently not changing an existing "policy", that costs zero dollars to maintain, is just too "expensive", considering that the said policy does not provide any cash revenue stream to the current establishment. At least in throwing that policy out the window the establishment will soon see the money start moving again, first out of our pockets, into the paid-for services owners pockets, before a small portion of it is diverted into the politicians own pockets. This is how they "balance" deficit in DC these
  • If telecom companies were asked to do things voluntarily we'd all still be getting really fine service from our nationwide monopoly.
  • As the saying goes, elections have consequences. That said, is the current administration would send the H1-b abuses packing I'm not sure I'd care. That also said I don't have a lot of hope for that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2017 @10:05AM (#54191059)

    Most net neutrality discussion center about how shaping traffic based on tcp ports or type of media transferred is not relevant to net neutrality because that is only about sources and sinks. I agree with this.
    However why is it even allowed for the ISP to interpret the TCP headers. They are not necessary to transport data to some other IP. Only the target IP should be legally allowed to interpret this data and if anyone else does it it should be considered wiretapping and prosecuted as such.

    Just like the post office is not allowed to read your mail past the address it need for delivery and your phone provider is not allowed to listen to in on your phone calls the ISP should not be allowed to look at your data.

    • However why is it even allowed for the ISP to interpret the TCP headers. They are not necessary to transport data to some other IP. Only the target IP should be legally allowed to interpret this data and if anyone else does it it should be considered wiretapping and prosecuted as such.

      Just used the last of my mod points. Can someone else mod this up? It is an interesting way to view the issue.

  • Another Republican idea.
    And still there are common people that firmly believe that the GOP is there for them. That is some cognitive dissonance of biblical proportions.

    Dear GOP, let's not think about your own wallets and who fills them for awhile and when you do, please follow this maxim for a bit: "Does this idea really benefit the every man?" or "Has my idea the potential to increase the risk of corruption on a big scale?".

    • by judoguy ( 534886 )

      Another Republican idea. And still there are common people that firmly believe that the GOP is there for them. That is some cognitive dissonance of biblical proportions.

      Dear GOP, let's not think about your own wallets and who fills them for awhile and when you do, please follow this maxim for a bit: "Does this idea really benefit the every man?" or "Has my idea the potential to increase the risk of corruption on a big scale?".

      Another Politician idea. And still there are common people that firmly believe that the government is there for them. That is some cognitive dissonance of biblical proportions.

      Dear Politician, let's not think about your own wallets and who fills them for awhile and when you do, please follow this maxim for a bit: "Does this idea really benefit the every man?" or "Has my idea the potential to increase the risk of corruption on a big scale?".

      There, fixed it for you.

  • What is the argument against net neutrality ? It just seems like a power/cash grab by the ISPs. But we need to take that premise and deconstruct the assumptions that support it. What are constructive actions we can take to make our voices heard ? Anyone have any guidance ?
    • by enjar ( 249223 )

      Honestly, Google it. It was well discussed / debated deconstructed prior to the regulations being put in place.

    • Customers are better served with market-based solutions than they are with government control and regulation.

      All of these problems that Net Neutrality will supposedly fix are due to government granted monopolies. If there were competition among ISPs, then customers could just switch to another provider if theirs was treating them poorly.

      Instead of simply solving the monopoly problem, some people want government to swoop in and rescue them by taking over the industry and regulating it to death. For some

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        All of these problems that Net Neutrality will supposedly fix are due to government granted monopolies. If there were competition among ISPs, then customers could just switch to another provider if theirs was treating them poorly.

        The government-granted monopolies exist because every ISP that moves in can't tear up the streets to install their own lines, and eventually municipalities would get sick of having big bundles of cables, each for a different company. The situation occurs because the companies own the infrastructure, including the last-mile connections. Maybe if they didn't, or were required to lease bandwidth at operating cost (which we had in the 1990s with DSL, which resulted in a nice growth of independent competitive IS

    • There's absolutely no argument against Network Neutrality. It's the way the Internet has been since it's inception and a goal for a healthy Internet.

      But there could be some arguments against regulation or legislation enforcing Network Neutrality. There are a billion different ways to screw it up and a lot of people worry about government takeover more than they worry about a handful of corporates taking over after consolidation.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re "What is the argument against net neutrality ?"
      An ISP has to spend a lot of profit upgrading their networks to support apps, movie streaming, P2P and other 24/7 users.
      The average ISP can cap data, slow P2P, block ports, try to split consumer accounts and business grade accounts.
      But consumers then scream "net neutrality" and demand their 24/7 data usage and that huge amounts of movie/series streaming should be allowed all month, every month. All on uncapped consumer plans.
      So an ISP has to buy more b
  • Naive (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2017 @10:22AM (#54191167)

    This has to be the most naive or idiotic bit of policy I've heard in a while. You either support net neutrality strongly or you don't support it at all. It appears that Pai is trying to uphold the idea of net neutrality, but without increasing "government regulation." But there's no incentive for ISPs to have net neutrality. This is the very reason regulations are typically called for. Asking ISPs to voluntarily give up net neutrality either 1)fails in which case you needed the regulation 2)succeeds in which case they incur the burdens that regulation would have incurred anyway.

  • by DewDude ( 537374 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @10:35AM (#54191255)
    something like this happened. Wheeler got the ISP's together and came up with various rules for net neutrality...wanting them to be involved in the process so they would be happier with it.

    They walked right out the door and proceeded to sue the FCC over the idea after they'd come to an agreement.

    The ISP's won't agree to it. They don't want a neutral internet. They had all the chance in the world to voluntarily run a neutral internet. This is not 20 years ago...we cannot simply change ISP's by giving a CC number to another company and putting in a new phone number. The ISP's know this; they know there's no real competition.

    He's going to find out they want to fuck consumers over for all they've got...and he's just going to let them do this. This man is a former Verizon laywer who seems to feel his loyalty is with big telecom; he does not care about consumers at all.

    Neutrality is dead. The free exchange of information is dead. The companies that offer OTT services will be allowed to fail as 4 or 5 big corporations decide they shouldn't be in business because it's unfair to them to have to deliver a competitor's service.

    Get prepared to pay a whole lot more for a whole lot less; cuz 'Murica!
    • This is not 20 years ago...we cannot simply change ISP's by giving a CC number to another company and putting in a new phone number. The ISP's know this; they know there's no real competition.

      So why don't you fix that problem instead of giving the government more control?

      It's the ISP's network, they should be able to run it however they like.

      • The only way you fix the monopoly problem is more regulation.

        So, what do you want? Regulation to fix the monopoly issue, or regulation to fox net neutrality?

        It's the ISP's network, they should be able to run it however they like.

        Taxpayers and residents did not contribute anything to the cost of the last mile? Like granting free access to the ISPs to wire up the houses, or the subsidies granted for rural connections?

        In any case, monopolies are typically regulated for the benefit of society.

      • The vast fiber networks that exist today under big telecom's control were built largely with federal government subsidies... which is part of the reason the telecoms were classified as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act several years ago. They are expected to treat all content carried over their networks as equal as part of their common carrier status.

        Giving big telecom cart blanche to police traffic (and on a publicly funded physical network?) can only lead to unfair pricing and

  • Route around? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spaceman375 ( 780812 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @10:47AM (#54191325)

    We used to say the internet routes around blockages. How about an always on VPN to a country with better policies? I know it won't work in all cases, but it will also keep the local ISP from selling anything of interest in my history.

    • VPNs would be considered a non fast-lane service. They might end up prioritizing Cisco VPNs, but not things like OpenVPN that hippies use.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      A good fast VPN would get security back from the ISP. But it is a new cost that average users should not have to pay if privacy laws existed.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't think "fast" and "slow" lanes even captures the horrible experience that awaits us.

    Soon you will offered internet channels instead of speeds. You will be able to buy internet service that provides access to youtube and msn.com. Or maybe another package that provides unimpeded access to fox news and breitbart. Or maybe you want the "sports internet" which provides access to NFL-related sites and ESPN.
    Any other sites will have ads overlaid by the ISP, or they may not be available at

    • Soon you will (sic) offered internet channels instead of speeds.
      ...
      The days of ordering just "internet service" are numbered.

      What is even funnier about what you are saying is that all web sites, taken together, are not the Internet. http/https are just two protocols. Web sites exist at an even higher layer than the protocols. When you "buy internet service", you are supposed to be buying access to a global communications network, not particular ports, protocols, and services.

      And they wonder why terrorism is a thing. "Let's deny reality in order to steal money from you." As a bonus, and the root cause of terrorism, the authorities

    • I really am surprised that some ISP hasn't tried to offer a lower cost service that runs through a proxy where they can inject their own ads. I suppose with most of the web transitioning to HTTPS that might get harder, but has nobody tried that?

  • If common carrier classification is rescinded that means the FTC will again have rule over ISP's right? Should help a bit towards that whole "sell all your data for $$$" thing. I would have rather had the rules set up under Wheeler though....
  • Ajit Pai Plans Fast-Track Repeal of Net Neutrality

    Seems fitting that he doesn't want to give this equal priority.

  • Thank good need for Google broadband! Oh...wait.

  • I suggest we take it one step further and repeal the criminal code, replacing it with voluntary agreements to act in a civil manner.

  • Companies: "Lets screw the people for profit!"
    People: "That sounds bad"
    Old FCC: "Companies, you aren't allowed to do that!"
    Companies: "But we waaaaannnttt to"
    Old FCC: "Tough"
    New FCC: "Psych! You're allowed to do it after all, but can you please pinky swear that you won't? There's no way you'd ever go back on a pinky swear right?"
    People: "MAGA!MAGA!MAGA!"

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie

Working...